Challenge politicians to solve poverty

TheStar.com – Opinion/Letter – Challenge politicians to solve poverty
October 14, 2009

It is heart warming to witness the generosity of individuals replenishing food banks. Sadly, filling food hampers offers only a Band-aid solution to poverty.

Twenty-plus years ago food banks were meant to be a temporary stop-gap measure. Today, they are permanent fixtures. Our three levels of government are getting off scot-free as generous individuals regularly provide assistance.

Being complacent about food banks, we are complicit with elected representatives in their failure to eliminate the root causes for their existence.

Parliament still has not implemented a living national minimum wage, not built affordable housing or extended proper compensation to the aged and disabled. Though some issues are under the jurisdiction of provincial/local governments, they can only be implemented with assistance from the federal government.

Why are there billions of dollars to fix problems after the fact (homeless shelters, substandard rooming houses, jails, detention centres) but not to aid in preventing problems (affordable housing, recreation centres, food programs in schools)?

A consistent letter campaign warning politicians “We won’t take it anymore” is more than past due. Challenge your elected official from each level of government to care for every constituent as they were elected to do.

Dina Moyal, Toronto

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